Monica and Alexander

How We Met

Alex and I met in Youth Group at our church. We were young, still in middle school and still in very awkward stages of life. The first time I laid eyes on Alex, I immediately got butterflies because I thought he was cute. He stood out amongst other youth group kids as he was extremely tall and wore a bright red school baseball sweatshirt with his last name printed on the back in big white letters. I thought it was odd for someone to wear such a casual outfit to church but regardless, I was too nervous to ever approach him. Thankfully, we were faithfully paired as partners during a Youth Group retreat where we were made the “hands and feet” of God. I had a fun time poking fun at Alex for being the stinky feet of God.

After that, we stayed friends through high school, texting and side-hugging each other on Sundays. I think there was just a bond between us that we never really felt with our high school peers. When we left for our Freshman years of college, we had strayed away from each other as we dated other people and tried becoming our own. During Freshman year’s winter break, our families went on a week-long ski trip in Colorado which faithfully brought us physically back together. It was an uncomfortable first few days as we intentionally ignored each other, not loving who the other had become that year. Conversations between us inevitably happened and we eventually warmed up to each other and it had felt like our old middle school times again. After that trip, we felt closer to each other in a brother/sister, best friend manner. We started our Sophomore years as best friends and shared our college life updates with each other over the phone and video chats almost every day.

It took a few more months of dating the wrong people during our Sophomore year to finally realize that we may be good for each other. I was the one to come to this realization first as I made the first move and was uncomfortably rejected by Alex. Typical of Alex, he was very analytical, practical and wanted to think all our options through. He admitted to being nervous that dating me could potentially ruin our best-friendship or even worse, lead us to despise each other again. (He also was worried that dating me might be like dating his sister, eeck– but I block that one out of my memory). I had backed off and was honestly a bit taken aback by his reaction. Most guys I dated would either say yes or no to dating me but Alex took a few days to think and eventually changed his mind. I was hesitant of saying yes to him after his original reaction but had also come to terms that our best-friendship could indeed be in danger. After a lot of hours of being very honest with each other and discussing where we wanted our friendship and potential relationship to go, we both finally decided to take the plunge. Thank God we did because our relationship has only grown since that day and the best part is that our best-friendship is still intact and even sweeter.

Monica and Alexander's Engagement in The Grand Canyon

how they asked

My parents and I were on a week-long trip with my fiancé and his family. We started our trip in Vegas then drove to stay around the Grand Canyon. There were a couple subtle hints of Alex proposing but all of them completely went over my head.

During our long drive to the Grand Canyon, I decided to do my makeup out of boredom and remembered Alex gravely asking me why I was doing my makeup. Not thinking anything of it, I lazily replied that I was just bored which quickly killed his suspicions of me knowing anything. Then, while hiking up the Canyon, I playfully tugged on Alex’s backpack and he whipped his head around and angrily told me to knock it off. It was a dramatic overreaction so I got very annoyed at his unnecessary reaction. We quickly made up knowing that the heat and the hiking was clearly getting to us. Every time there was a beautiful scenic view (and there were MANY), Alex would make his sister and I stop to take pictures of the view. But what was odd was his sister, Erika, would first take a picture of the view, then Alex would quickly follow her and snap the same exact picture. I suggested to Alex that he should try taking his picture from a different angle or view since him and his sister would likely end up with the exact same photo.

We were overlooking Yavapai Point and Alex asked his sister if she would take a few photos of us. I got so excited because my fiancé isn’t one to voluntarily ask for photos of us. Alex said he needed to drop his backpack off first so while we waited for him to do that, Erika snapped photos of just me overlooking the amazing view. Alex walked behind me and hugged one arm around me and we smiled for the photo — I tried grabbing his other arm to fully wrap around me but he kept that hand in his pocket which I easily shrugged off. Then I jokingly shrieked, “POSE! Engagement photos!!! Wink WINK Alex, it’s like we’re taking them!” which was conveniently the BEST lead-in line for him. Alex then nervously said, “well since you mentioned that…” and got on one knee. As I was completely unsuspecting, it seemed like a joke. I told him to shut up and get up, but he didn’t. He continued on, saying sweet things about how he always knew I was the one and how he wants to grow old with me. I turned to his sister in disbelief and saw her speed-snapping pictures of us and gulping back tears. I realized he wasn’t joking and suddenly couldn’t see because my eyes were welling up so fast. Through my very loud weeping, I managed to hear him ask, “will you marry me?” and I sobbed back, “yes!” and tightly wrapped my arms around him, accepting a warm, shaky and very happy embrace. That feeling of knowing he was the one and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, this wacko, is a hard feeling to describe but it was by far one of the happiest moments of my life.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in The Grand Canyon

Marriage Proposal Ideas in The Grand Canyon

Special Thanks

Erika Tretner
 | Photographer